Re: Looking to add permanently mounted USB drive

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On Fri, 2010-10-22 at 11:00 -0400, Robert Moskowitz wrote:

I've played with the 1 TB Seagate drive of that design.  It likes to
fall asleep when left idle for long enough.  Sometimes it wakes
moderately promptly, sometimes you could be waiting for well over 30
seconds for it to wake up.  It seems to have two powerdown modes.  I've
stood there and waited, well beyond my patience, for the drive to wake
up while I was trying to reboot or shut down the laptop connected to it.
The drive had fallen asleep, and Fedora wasn't going to shut down until
it synced the drive.  That could be similarly problematic if you're
trying to use the drive, while it's away with the pixies.

So far as I could tell, there was some Windows software to change the
timeout/sleep options, but it didn't set something in the drive
enclosure that would change how it behaved forever more.  It was
something that needed to be set each time the drive was powered up.
They all presume you're using Windows, and that if you're not happy with
the defaults, you'll run some Windows app every time you start your
computer, to twiddle things.

The transfer rate was far from best speed that USB2 can manage, though I
haven't tested whether that was down to Nautilus (being used to copy
files over), or the interface (I haven't used anything else to copy
files, to compare).

The only redeeming feature was that it didn't use one of those crappy
power bricks - the rectangular box in the middle of a cord, with a
really fragile 4-pin connector to connect to the drive.  Every one of
those, that I've used, got stinking hot, and produced so much electrical
hash it would cause my ADSL modem to disconnect (two different modems,
one brand new).  The Seagate used one of those wall wart power plugs
(which annoy other people, because they don't fit next to other things
in a four-way power board).

My advice:  Find some generic interface without timeouts built into it.
Look for an enclosure with good heatsinking and airflow that doesn't
rely on a tiny crappy fan.  And, especially for permanent external
devices, ones where a main cable plugs straight into the drive box, seem
more practical.  And, if it really is a *permanent* addition, can you
not put a normal drive into the computer, instead?

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